Social Media Ideas and Inspiration

36 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (2022)

freelance writing jobs

36 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (2022)

If you’re a copywriter, blogger, or any type of freelance writer who wants to earn a full-time or part-time income doing what you love, this definitive, A-to-Z guide will help you do just that.

1. Create a Writing Portfolio That Kicks Butt

Further Reading: How to Create a Writing Portfolio That’ll Wow Potential Clients walks you through everything you need to craft an online portfolio of your work, from portfolio sites like Contently to using your own blog. It also offers tips for building a list of writing samples if your portfolio is a bit sparse.

2. Supercharge Your Writing Skills

3. Ask for Testimonials

Did you ask the client to give you a testimonial? A few words declaring their undying love and/or satisfaction with your work (that you can use to help you land more writing clients)?

Most writers who do freelance work, either due to ignorance or fear, don’t ask for testimonials. Our own Jon Morrow says he’s only had a small handful of writers over the years ask him for a testimonial — even though he would’ve been perfectly happy to give one to them.

Karen offers everything I look for in a freelance writer: Her work is excellent, she finishes on time (if not ahead of schedule), and her attention to detail is wonderful. I enjoyed working with her so much that, as soon as her first article was completed, I asked her if she’d like to write for us again. I happily recommend her.

Note: You can count me among the poor, unfortunate souls who missed out on Jon’s generosity. Before becoming Smart Blogger’s Editor-in-Chief, I was a freelancer. I wrote five posts for Smart Blogger as a freelance writer, which means I passed on five opportunities for Jon to say nice things about me. Don’t repeat my mistakes — ask for testimonials at every opportunity.

4. Learn How to Craft a Killer Author Bio

5. Know How to Write a Pitch

The job seekers who are willing to do it have an edge. And the ones who are good at it — and I mean really freakin’ good at it — are never more than an email or two away from snagging a new writing job.

6. Learn the Legal Side of Freelancing

The Definitive Guide to Freelance Contracts, Invoices, & Taxes

The legalities can seem so scary and daunting that many freelance writers choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore them — or, worse, give up on their freelancing dreams rather than have to deal with any of it.

Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs: Twitter

Editors are always on Twitter putting out calls for pitches. It’s a great place to see what editors are looking for—and pitch relevant story ideas that are sure to get their attention.

If you know what publications you want to write for, do a quick search to find relevant editors on Twitter—and then follow them to make sure that when they put the call out for writers, you’re in the loop. You can also use hashtags like #callforpitches or #pitchparty to see what editors are looking for and use that to guide your pitch strategy.

Twitter is also an ideal place to network with other writers. Not only is connecting with other freelancers a great way to build out your network, but it’s also a great way to learn about writing opportunities from your fellow writers!

Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs: Agencies

Not all brands hire freelancers directly. Instead, they hire agencies to handle their content and marketing needs—and then agencies bring freelancers on board to help get the work done.

SEO Agencies

If you want to go the SEO agency route, try searching for an SEO agency that has clients in your industry or the areas you’re interested in writing about, then reach out and pitch your services.

For example, if you want to be a food writer, look for an SEO agency that partners with food and beverage brands. If you want to break into your local writing scene, look for a local SEO agency that partners with the best small businesses in town.

Content Marketing Agencies

Content marketing agencies create content that helps brands engage, educate, and connect with their audiences (think blog posts, ebooks and white papers). And, again—they need freelance writers to help bring that content to life.

If brand writing is your forte, content marketing agencies will have freelance writing jobs that are right up your alley—so it’s definitely worth reaching out and making the connection.

Web Design Agencies

Web design agencies design websites. But designing a website is just the first step. Once the website is designed, it needs to be filled in with content—and that’s where you come in.

Digital Marketing Agencies

Digital marketing agencies help businesses increase their reach in the digital space and typically offer services like social media management, digital advertising, and email marketing—all of which require writers.

Ad Agencies

Ad agencies come up with creative advertising campaigns for brands across a number of verticals including print, digital and TV/video. They’re always looking for sharp, creative freelance writers to help come up with copy for their campaigns.

Content Mills

Content mills don’t have the best reputation. Basically, content mills offer content to their clients at a low price and then outsource the writing of that content to freelance writers. Because they’re charging a low rate to the client, they’re also paying a low rate to freelancers.

“A lot of naysayers are going to tell you to walk on by, but this maligned corner of the freelance world has a lot to offer if you know how to approach it correctly. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the content mill, the P90X of freelancing.”

If you’re just starting out and are looking for a steady stream of work to build your portfolio, content mills can be a great solution. And if you’re a fast writer who can churn out a lot of words, you can actually earn a pretty decent living.

Are content mills the best place to find freelance writing jobs? No. But if you’re just starting out, they can be a solid resource to find steady gigs and help get your career off the ground.

Tips for Finding Agencies to Partner With

recession ad

  • Go local. A quick Google search of “[Your city]” and the type of agency you want to work with (e.g., “Toronto SEO agency” or “Baltimore digital marketing agency”) is a great way to find local agencies to pitch.
  • Check out agency award lists. A variety of industries—including advertising and digital marketing—give out awards to the best and brightest in the business. Checking these lists is a great way to get a sense of the agencies doing cool, interesting things—which are the agencies you want to partner with.
  • Be willing to work on-site. Many agencies, especially larger ones, want their freelancers to work on-site. If you’re willing to work in the agency at least a few days a week, you’ll likely have more opportunities to choose from.

7 Ways You Can Land Freelance Jobs on LinkedIn

1. Use keywords in your profile

Start by fully filling out your profile and stuffing it with keywords about what you do. At one time, mine said “freelance writer, award-winning blogger, copywriter, and writing mentor,” but now it says “Freelance Book Ghostwriter & Traffic-Driving Blogger | Finance | Entrepreneurship” to better match my current freelance goals.

My profile also names my nearest major city, useful for people searching for a local writer — that’s how an airline magazine based in my town came to call me recently to write a $500 business-finance article. They’re not the only major company I’ve had call me cold off my LI profile, either.

So fill out your profile, people. Your profile converts people into buyers the best of any page on LI. People like to hang out in the groups (more on them later), but filling out your profile completely may be your most efficient use of time on LI.

2. Check “Who’s viewed my profile?”

Yes, if you’re only on the free level, sometimes it won’t show you much — some of the information will be hidden. A Premium membership is the way to go for a month or two, while you prospect heavily with this strategy.

If they smell like a prospect, I then send them a message: “Hi, were you looking for a freelance writer? I noticed you were looking at my profile. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!”

3. Track down your editor connections

Shmooze, catch up, find out what they’re doing now. Do they need a job? Send them leads. Do they have a job? Maybe they can use you again, or know another editor using freelancers and could refer you.

At one point when I was really needed a few new clients, I decided to reconnect with every editor I’d ever liked. It was fun! And one I hadn’t written for in a decade ended up referring me a great new global client that I did 800,000 of work for last year, and they’re still calling me.

4. Browse available job postings

If you’re going to look at online writing jobs, LI is one of my favorite places to do it, as an increasing number of their ads are exclusive to LI. Their ads cost money, and the companies tend to be high-quality.

I use one of my favorite ad-hunting tricks and look at LI’s full-time job ads. In my experience as a staffer, the appearance of a staff-writer job ad means a crisis situation–someone usually left months back.

My strategy? Apply to any publication or company of interest, and just let them know you’re a happy freelancer, not looking for a full-time job, but I’m so right for you, look at my experience…do you perhaps also work with freelancers?

I got a nice, 800-a-word client, an interesting national trade magazine, with this strategy. It’s great if you feel like you don’t want to bother people–because these people are warm leads. They’ve already been checking out your profile, so it’s a natural reach-out to ask if they need a writer.

5. Use InMail for prospecting

Message #1 (right after connecting): Thanks for connecting! I’d love to learn more about your business and how I can help you. Right now, I’m looking to add a couple of freelance-writing clients in your industry. If you know anyone who’s looking for a writer, I’d appreciate your referrals. Let me know your ideal client, so I can return the favor.”

Message #2 (send anytime): “I’ve got some ideas that might help your business. Sent them over in an email – please be on the lookout for it!”

That’s right, instead of outright pitching people on LinkedIn, I often ask them to refer me leads. Why? It’s less obnoxious and likely to get you reported. People love to refer people! Makes them feel helpful.

6. Pitch in connection invites

Here’s a strategy for the bold writer: Pitch your services directly in your connection invite. This saves a step from the approach of throwing out a ton of connection invites without saying why you want to connect… and then InMailing them (as in point 5) to pitch them afterwards.

To an editor: “ Loved the recent article on X in the X issue! Are you accepting pitches right now? Would
love to send you an idea about Y. I also noticed we have X mutual connections, and thought
it would make sense to connect.”

To a marketing manager: “ I noticed your company is in X NICHE, which I write for. Looking through your site, I thought you may benefit from X and X TYPES OF CONTENT. Would love to connect here to chat about how I can help bring that content to life.”

7. Create a bait piece for your ‘Featured’ section

The reality: Almost no freelance writers seem to have turned this feature on! And the few that do have the section up don’t seem to know what to feature. I’ve seen a lot of random stuff in writers’ Featured area–decade-old clips, certificates for completed coursework (heads-up: clients don’t care), and other miscellany.



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